The Future of Social Networks

This morning, I discovered Charlene Li’s latest presentation on the future of social networks.  What is in the presentation reiterates my views that the future of the majority of the web needs to be open.  While social networks can be closed (a la a dining club at Yale), the benefit of a social network is the openness it has with the ability for every single user to create their own experience through the actions they take.

Social networks only work when there is a give/take (input/output).

  • Users input their data/behaviors across a social network or participating site
  • Users output/receive a much more targeted and richer experience

The web is going to be passing/sharing information back and forth between publishers (it currently is now with the DART/Atlas ad-serving systems in their real-time ad calls) beyond the traditional 728X90 or 300X250 ad units.  Pages are fully dynamic now and content changes based on behavior attributed not just on a single publishers site, but across multiple publishers.  The value of understanding what someone is doing on another publisher’s site (even potential competitor) is high.

The future social network is the SOCIAL network.  It is omnipresent.

  • http://web-poet.com Web Laureate

    darren, I couldn’t agree with you more. the future social networks are going to have to keep getting more open, to get more social, and useful (and fun), maybe helped along by some of the parts of the semantic web – http://web-poet.com/2009/01/26/semantic/

  • http://web-poet.com Web Laureate

    darren, I couldn't agree with you more. the future social networks are going to have to keep getting more open, to get more social, and useful (and fun), maybe helped along by some of the parts of the semantic web – http://web-poet.com/2009/01/26/semantic/

  • http://greghills.com greghills

    Darren -

    It seemed like the open social network Charlene described was a set of common standards so that the social graph could be applied to all types of web sites. That way “social networking” isn’t just an activity that happens on certain domains like Facebook.com — it will be woven into the fabric of every web experience, whether its NYTimes.com, Amazon, or Whitehouse.gov.

    Your point about the customized user experience is important, and seems even more important in light of the open web. There’s tremendous value in integrating GMail address book so I can connect with everyone I know on LinkedIn. For me however, there is negative value in having my Facebook account connected to everyone I ever met. My news feed is too noisy and I don’t want to broadcast my status to everyone. That’s why I’m really getting into Twitter — it feels like I’m in an actual community. I don’t want one ubiquitous, unnuanced social graph — I want a different one for each online social experience. That’s why your point about customized experience is so important.

  • greghills

    Darren -

    It seemed like the open social network Charlene described was a set of common standards so that the social graph could be applied to all types of web sites. That way “social networking” isn't just an activity that happens on certain domains like Facebook.com — it will be woven into the fabric of every web experience, whether its NYTimes.com, Amazon, or Whitehouse.gov.

    Your point about the customized user experience is important, and seems even more important in light of the open web. There's tremendous value in integrating GMail address book so I can connect with everyone I know on LinkedIn. For me however, there is negative value in having my Facebook account connected to everyone I ever met. My news feed is too noisy and I don't want to broadcast my status to everyone. That's why I'm really getting into Twitter — it feels like I'm in an actual community. I don't want one ubiquitous, unnuanced social graph — I want a different one for each online social experience. That's why your point about customized experience is so important.

  • http://www.socialnetworks10.com Social Networks 10

    Well actually making it SOCIAL is a big step.

  • http://www.thependrive.com Consumer Electronics

    I think that Social Networks will just keep getting more and more popular as people want to talk to their friends more often.